“Write it down, type it down, speak into your phone, just get it down. Ideas won’t stay in your head forever.”-Me
We like to trust our memories because we think of them as steel traps and a sign of youthfulness. And it’s true that some people are far better at remembering things than others. But it’s good for us as writers or creative persons to put our concepts and ideas into some physical form.
Short term memory only has so much space before it eventually dumps the input to make room for new information. Long term memory is great, but I’m not sure that a spontaneous idea is going to get placed there unless you run it over in your head repeatedly to commit it. Even then, the more you run through it, the more it’s changing, shifting, and parts could end up missing by the time you believe you’re ready to address them. Think of recalling a dream. When you retell it to someone, no matter how vivid it may be in your mind, it’s never a whole recreation. So why would you expect your ideas to remain whole after you let them sit in your mind?
I know, sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be a chance in the hustle and bustle of jobs or simply inopportune times the ideas spring up. Not only does technology make things easier, having traditional standbys work just as well.
Write It Down
I personally keep two small notepads on me pretty much at all times in my purse, or other traveling bag, and my cell phone. One’s for all creative writings or concepts and the other is strictly blog related. I like writing things down, in general. From lists to random observations. And, much like taking notes for a class during a lecture, it helps me retain information. More importantly, should I forget about the idea, quote, snippet of dialogue etc. I have the satisfaction of knowing I wrote it down. Then I can revisit whenever I have the time and expound upon the notes if needed.
Type It Down
I haven’t utilized my phone as much, but I can type up little memos or compose a quick email to myself. When I’m at home, or have access to a computer, and something creeps up. I just open up a blank WordPad document and type away and save it for later. If this were a job situation. I could save it until the end of the day and print it off, or also email to myself (to avoid looking like I was abusing company time for something “frivolous”).
Speak It Down
Some people like to use voice recorder devices, and narrate ideas or other dictation. A wise investment, if you’re into that kind of thing. But smartphones and most basic cellphones also have various audio recording features built in.
Within a couple of clicks you can create an audio memo to yourself. If the default audio recorders aren’t that great, then plenty of voice recording apps are available that can enhance the experience. The only drawback is remembering you’ve done it. But at least it’s there for whenever you access it and the idea isn’t lost to the oblivion of forgotten.
So, there’s very little reason for avoiding writing your ideas. That is, if you intend to do something with them.